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How to Save Your Tail*: *if you are a rat nabbed by cats who really like stories about magic spoons, wolves with snout-warts, big, hairy chimney trolls . . . and cookies, too.
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How to Save Your Tail*: *if you are a rat nabbed by cats who really like stories about magic spoons, wolves with snout-warts, big, hairy chimney trolls . . . and cookies, too.

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  147 ratings  ·  51 reviews
ONCE UPON A time, in a grand castle, there lived a rat named Bob, who was fond of baking and wild about reading. So begins Bob’s quest to save himself from being eaten by Muffin and Brutus, the Queen’s cats. How does Bob attempt to escape their claws? By telling them fractured fairy tales about his whole rat family (and feeding them cookies).
Paperback, 112 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Yearling (first published April 10th 2007)
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Book talk: Meet Bob. Bob loves reading and baking. Bob is also a rat, and he is about to become dinner. When Bob is surprised by two cats it's his cookies that distract them at first, but what really saves his tail are his tales. It all starts with his great-great grandfather Sherman who climbed a beanstalk and saved a magic goose from a giant. Bob is a good story teller and as each story ends he leaves a tantalizing hook for the next and the cats decide to put off killing him for just a little ...more
genre: Young Reader, fantasy

summary: think Arabian nights except Shahrizad is a cornered Rat, telling stories to a pair of cats in order to not be eaten. The stories are "ratty" interpretations of fairy and folktales (jack & the beanstalk, Rumpelstiltskin, Diamonds & Toads, Cinderella, 3 Little Pigs)

notes: more enjoyable to children with a good fairy/folktale background

for kids who like: fairytales, fantasy, talking animals, humor

age group: age 6+

my review: amuzing
Erika Gentry
Quick summary: A rat attempts to save his own life by telling a series of fractured fairy tales to 2 hungry cats. This was the August book selection for my 3rd grade daughter's Kids Jr. Book Club at our public library. At first, she wasn't quite hooked as she couldn't keep track of all the many characters. After we read it together-she really enjoyed it. I was moderately hooked-hence 3 stars.
Lee Födi
This is a cute book in which a rat is able to save his tail by telling tales to a pair of cats. Each story he spins riffs of an existing fairytale. It's short and sweet and is a good book to share with younger readers who are just beginning to find their way in the realm of chapter books. Such readers may delight in identifying the nods to the classic fairytales that they will probably know all too well.
I snapped this one off the library shelf because of its peppy red cover with the inviting illustration and was not disappointed. Bob the book-loving rat saves himself by telling twisty fairy tales to the cats who have him cornered. The tales are charming and the illustrations are sweet.
Bob is a charming, smart, handsome, book-loving rat who is about to be eaten by two large and hungry cats. In order to (literally) save his tail, Bob starts telling stories about his ancestors. All of the stories are variations of famous fairy tales--but with a rat in the starring role, of course. Bob has to keep telling stories to entertain the cats, otherwise he'll be a pre-bedtime snack!

So cute, funny and entertaining. Very original and well-written. The fairy tales are changed to make them m
Short quick read that made me smile at some of the funny twists in the fairytales. My little siser's school library book that I wanted to read inbetween my much more serious books:)
Naomi Campbell
I love reading stories that go back to the traditional fairy tales and tell a bit more of the story, or the other side of the story or whatever!
Jennifer Sharkey
I read this to my children at bedtime over the course of a few days. They enjoyed it, although this was somewhat of a suprise to me - I thought they were just spacing out and not paying attention while I was reading it.

And even though I was the one reading it, by the time the next night came I had already forgotten who was who and where we were in the story. I thought it was kind of boring.

The story is about a rat who is caught by two cats. In order to avoid getting eaten by the cats, the rat te
Dec 02, 2013 Catherine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fairy Tale Fiends
Recommended to Catherine by: Judy Freeman
Looking for a fun quick read? Well, here you go!
How to Save Your Tail is a cute collection of quirky retellings of classic fairy tales. All the stories are told from the view point of a rat named Bob. Bob is not your typical rat as he loves reading and baking. When he is caught by two hungry cats, he must use his baking ability and the stories from members of his family tree to try and save his tail.
Interestingly, the tales from his family are all strangely similar to fairy tales with which yo
Great synthesis of traditional fairy tales. Not truly fractured fairy tales, this variation of 1001 Nights has a rat spinning family yarns to save his bacon from two story-loving cats. Elements from dozens of fairy tales appear throughout the book; the writing is clever and funny; and although this could seem to be another post-modern, spot-the-references tale, the writing holds up on its own. I actually think the author did a very good job avoiding the trap of continuously referencing other wor ...more
A cute book with fairy tale twists.
There aren't too many fun books for transitional readers (like third graders) but this is one that could be shared with second and third graders in the classroom or at home. Bob the rat is captured by the castle cats. He beguiles them with his cookies and with the stories of his family. The stories are familiar fairy tales, but they all have a twist (Rumplestilskin is a troll who lives under a bridge). Lots of fun, short and filled with illustrations. Perfect for new chapter book readers.
We loved it. Nice mix of fairy tales.
Sharan Thind
These stories are great!
Sarah W
May 26, 2008 Sarah W rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: elementary school students
A rat, tells stories of his family to postpone Brutus and Muffin's attempt to eat him. Bob's situation as storyteller is reminiscent of Shahrazad. The stories that Bob tells will be familiar to children, though his rat family's versions have twists and combinations not often seen elsewhere.

This book was a fast read for me - taking 30 minutes to read the 90 pages. It'd be a great read aloud for younger children.
I read this with my daughter and it was really cute! Bob, the rat, tells stories about his relatives so that two cats won't eat him. The stories are versions of fairy tales but kind of mixed up. Bob's last story is about himself (and Cindy) and it is really funny! This is a good book for a younger reader since the chapters are not super long and there are pictures scattered through out the book.
I enjoyed this book, but only mildly. It's cute enough, with the main character a rat named Bob who bakes excellent cookies escaping, Shahrazad style, two cats who have caught him and are going to eat him. He retells fairy tales from his rat family history point of view. It can be amusing, but ends up overall feeling like it falls flat and doesn't really bring a great new thing to old stories.
It's Arabian Nights, but with a positive rat protaganist who's an excellent baker and well versed in fairy tales! what's not to love? (I particularly liked that in this universe, cats will set aside rats for eating if a good cookie is available.) Afterwards I really wanted a fresh out of the oven rat-baked warm melty chocolate chip cookie and a vermin-told story.
A rat-positive book of fractured fairy tales! I love it!
iam 9.i read it in libraey and it was is a really good book for children to read .it has fairy tailes tht kids love.except it has been made into even funnier tales.any age would love it. my mom would love it. if you havent read it, you should start reading it right now.
Bill Prosser
Great fun for younger readers. Actually, all kids would enjoy this to figure out which familiar fairy tales are being parodied by story teller, Bob the Rat. The end papers are fun too, the front being Bob's rat and frog family tree, and the back a map of where he lives. Quick and funny.
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 21, 2011 Corinna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Corinna by: Maud Hart Lovelace Nominee
A very cute mixed-up fairy tales collection. I believe this is especially great as a read aloud. The book is structured as stories that a desperate rat tells to distract to two cats from eating him for dinner. The illustrations are fun and appropriate to the story.
This is an Arabian Nights story where a rat named Bob survives by telling two threatening cats a series of tales to save his tail. These tales are rat family stories that students will recognize as fractured fairy tales. Individual chapters might make a good read aloud. Clever!
Sq.Hill Library
With the popularity of Disney's Rattatouille, lovable rats should be all the rage. The author cleverly combines familiar fariy tales like 1001 Arabian Nights, with Jack and the Beanstalk, and The Three Little Pigs - all with a twist, of course - to create a fun tale.
Autumn Thetford
Great book for text to text connections!!!! Charlie May Simon list and it's laugh out loud funny, fantasy book filled with fairy tales. All 4th graders have heard it, and Mrs. Starnes too! What did ya'll think of it?
Cute and reminiscent of Arabian Nights. In this case, a rat saves his tail and other parts by telling two cats stories of his and his family's lives in a castle. I think there are seven fairy tales alluded to. Grades 2-5.
Aug 07, 2007 Tracie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 2-5th gr.
A clever rat saves himself from being eaten by two cats with his entertaining tales and yummy cookies. Clever in places with some great descriptive vocabulary, but all-in-all probably not one I'll remember for long.
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